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      Whack Supremacists

      Whack Supremacists

      Yay! It's my first blog--I mean of something other than historical facts.

      Reflections by Zana is not an apolitical entity.

      We strive for the betterment of ALL black peoples--no matter the ideology, politics, sexual orientation, gender, sex, creed, status, education or the myriad of other things which seemingly divide us.

      Because we understand that if we allow them to single out and potentially kill one of us, that is permission to kill any of us.

      With that said, we can still have our own experiences:

      I find that there is a great number of black people who think like white supremacists--whack supremacists is what I call them.
      Of course, they don't think they do, but often enough they employ a method called othering-- in which they often vilify or marginalize black people, black culture, black language, black accomplishments and/or civil rights-- by comparing it or basing it against some other group.
      They do this by seeking to establish someone else as the standard for decency, morality and/or achievement--and ostracize black people for not being like them or like "others". They then set themselves apart because they're not like "us".
      They, the whack supremacists, deem themselves subsequently better than "us" because they've subscribed to the false idea of meritocracy; to that of faux-egalitarianism; to that of pulling themselves up "by their own bootstraps". When in reality, they have had support and most likely wouldn't have succeeded without it.
      This is the detriment of this pervasive ignorance passed off as "I'm not like them" and is the penultimate goal of white supremacy.
      Black Americans are the only group of people on the planet who do not have an actual, physical country from which we've all hailed, but rather a series of countries along with white ancestors often due to the massive amount of sexual violence which occurred--which means there is usually no direct bloodline support or culture to draw inspiration from.
      Black people in America were the only people on the planet who after slavery, were denied anything resembling humanity-- so we leaned on struggle as a right of passage because everything else was out of reach. We have our flaws, but there isn't an ethnicity, a group or a racial strata on earth that doesn't.
      Whack supremacists will always say "Yeah, but"-- however there is no "yeah, but". Black America is STILL living inside a society that impresses upon us a second class status--one in which EVERY facet of life is inundated with racism.
      In my experience, this why when 1 of us succeeds, we all feel like we're part of that success. And when they inevitably turn their back on blackness-- because it's always more profitable in the long run--it feels much like a kick in the groin.
      I'll end it with this: too many black "people" complain about the fruit of a rotten tree without first acknowledging the tree is rotten. That's where the conversation should always start and that's where should grow-- from understanding rather than othering. Getting better takes time and commitment, not pointing fingers and suggesting "if we were like" some other group. And if you're going to continue being a whack supremacist while continuing your othering, perhaps you need to learn more about THEIR history before telling us that we should be like them.
      Feel free to leave a comment, pro or con, at qls@rbzexpressions.com and let us know how you feel.

      Black History Snippet--Col. Mae Jemison

      Black History Snippet--Col. Mae Jemison

      Black History Profile:

      Col. Mae Jemison (1956- present)

      --the first black American woman in space, having launched on Sept. 12, 1992, aboard the space shuttle Endeavor

      --born in AL, her parents moved to Chicago for better educational opportunities

      --she loved watching Star Trek and credits Nichelle Nichols (Lt. Uhura) with her wanting to be a scientist and travel to space

      --often dissuaded from being a scientist by her teachers, for a time she decided to become a dancer, excelling in all forms

      --even as a student at Stanford, she endured racism-- even from her professors, which drove her to regularly sloganize that "I'm going to do this and I don't give a damn."

      --as a senior in college, when deciding to pursue arts or science, it was her mother told her "you can always dance if you're a doctor, but you can't doctor if you're a dancer"; she chose the latter

      --she graduated college at 20 with 2 degrees: receiving a B.S. in chemical engineering and fulfilling the requirements for a B.A. in African and Afro-American Studies

      --while working on her Doctorate of Medicine at Cornell, she traveled to several other countries, giving medical care--all while still studying and learning modern dance

      --after medical school, she was a general practitioner for a while, but decided to join the Peace Corps where she regularly broke rules concerning patient cost--claiming she was there to save lives, not dollars

      -- witnessing Sally Ride venture to space, along with the Challenger tragedy, she decided to apply to the NASA program, receiving the opportunity in 1987

      --in 1992, she lifted off from Kennedy Space Center with a poster of Bessie Coleman firmly in her grasp

      --she retired from NASA in 1993, choosing to focus more on sciences and advocate strongly in favor of science education and getting minority students interested in science

      --also in 1993 Jemison founded her own company, the Jemison Group that researches, markets, and develops science and technology for daily life

      --founded the Dorothy Jemison Foundation for Excellence; an international science camp where students, ages 12 to 16, work to solve current global problems

      --Jemison founded BioSentient Corp and has been working to develop a portable device that allows mobile monitoring of the involuntary nervous system

      --being a lover of the sciences and arts, she currently holds nine  doctorates in science, engineering, letters, and humanities

      --"Science provides a personal understanding of universal experience. Arts provide a universal understanding of a personal experience."

      --Col. Mae Jemison

      Black History Snippet--Ida B. Wells

      Black History Snippet--Ida B. Wells

      Black History Profile:

      Ida. B. Wells (1862-1931)

      --though born in slavery and freed by the Emancipation Proclamation AND the 13th Amendment, living in Mississippi was extremely harsh due to the Black Codes all southern (and some northern) states enacted

      --Wells received her schooling at Shaw University as a child, but dropped out at 16 when both her parents and one sibling died of yellow fever; she obtained a job teaching--claiming she was 18

      --at 22, on a train ride to Nashville, even though she'd bought a first-class ticket, she was forcibly removed and thrown into the "black car"--she bit the hand of one of the men who threw her off the train; she sued and won $500, but the win was overturned by the Tennessee Supreme Court--ordering her to pay court costs

      --this sparked her to write about the injustices of race in the south; eventually becoming the owner of three Memphis newspapers

      --while campaigning against the squalid conditions in black schools, she was fired from several teaching jobs for her stances

      --in 1892, three African-American men—Tom Moss, Calvin McDowell and Will Stewart—set up a grocery store in Memphis. Their new business drew customers away from a white-owned store in the neighborhood, and the white store owner and his supporters clashed with the three men on a few occasions. One night, Moss and the others guarded their store against attack and ended up shooting several of the white vandals. They were arrested and brought to jail, but they didn't have a chance to defend themselves against the charges—a lynch mob took them from their cells and murdered them

      --the Memphis police refused to investigate and Ida's pleas fell on deaf ears, so she went on a crusade to bring attention to lynching deaths, cataloging them and publishing them in her newspaper; after she published the stories AND the names of the lynch-men, a mob stormed her offices, destroying them and threatened her death if she returned to Memphis

      --In 1898, Wells brought her anti-lynching campaign to the White House, leading a protest in Washington, D.C., and calling for President William McKinley to make reforms--showing proof that most lynching were a direct result of blacks competing with whites, rather than being based on criminal acts

      --lynching became her platform and she documented every known case she could find--discovering around 3500 known cases in 33 years

      --called out numerous racist women's organizations, including the Women's Temperance Christian Union (a 200,000 member "anti-racism" suffrage group) for the comments made about black people and their fight to gain white women suffrage, but not black women

      --considered a founding member of the NAACP, she left because she felt the organization lacked action-based initiatives--and was deliberately excluded by W.E.B. DuBois

      --as part of her work with the National Equal Rights League, called for President Woodrow Wilson to put an end to discriminatory hiring practices for government jobs and was a fierce advocate of women's suffrage

      --a leading proponent of the Dyer Anti-Lynching bill, which proposed fines and jail-time for offenders--it failed along with 200 other attempts to stop lynching

      --after a lifetime of fighting, Ida B. Well died mid-sentence while writing her autobiography; succumbing to kidney failure

      --"I'd rather go down in history as one lone negro who dared to tell the government that it had done a dastardly thing than to save my skin by taking back what I said."

      Ida. B Wells

      Black History Snippet--George Washington Carver

      Black History Snippet--George Washington Carver

      Black History Profile:

      George Washington Carver (1860's – January 5, 1943)

      --born into slavery, but kidnapped a week after his birth, so his actual birth date is unknown; only George was recovered by the Carver family

      --after slavery ended, the Carver family taught him to read and write--because no school would accept black students

      --as a teenager he traveled to a school 10 miles away to learn with other black students

      --he had a cordial relationship with the Carver's daughter, but for fear they would sleep together, they made him a eunuch--removing his genitals; this caused the high pitch voice he'd have for the rest of his life

      --calling himself Carver's George because he still believed himself to be their property, he met a young woman by the name of Mariah Watkins who taught him the 'George' was more important than the 'Carver'

      --after high school, he applied to several colleges and one accepted him, then rejected him once they discovered he was black

      --founded his own homestead and used the land for a small conservatory of plants, plowing all 17 acres manually

      --was 27 years old when he was finally allowed in college and was the first black student ever allowed at Iowa State Agricultural College, focusing on botany

      --earning respect as a botanist, Carver went to the Tuskegee Institute, where he taught for 47 years--educating black students in crop rotation,alternative cash crops, improving the soil of areas heavily cultivated in cotton, initiated research into crop products (chemurgy), farming techniques for self-sufficiency

      --it is widely believed that Carver created peanut butter--he did not; he did, however, create 300 different peanut uses (including peanut oil which was said to help with polio) along with hundreds of different uses for soybeans, pecans, sweet potatoes

      --he only patented 3 of his inventions (out of around 500), believing that his inventions were a gift from God and deserved to be shared, not hoarded for money--even turning down a job with Edison (for 100k/year) because Edison sought profit

      --had it not been for Carver and his farming techniques, the resurgence of the South would have been all but impossible

      --"Ninety-nine percent of the failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses."

      --George Washington Carver

      Black History Profile--Black Wall Street

      Black History Profile--Black Wall Street

      Black History Profile:

      Black Wall Street (1906-1921)

      --40 acres founded in northeastern Tulsa in 1906 by O.W. Gurley (a wealthy black landowner from Arkansas) and J.B. Stradford

      --Stradford believed that black people had a better chance of economic progress if they pooled their resources, worked together and supported each other's businesses; they bought large tracts of real estate in the northeastern part of Tulsa, which they had subdivided and sold exclusively to other blacks

      --the city was named Greenwood after it's first street, Greenwood Avenue, which was named after a city in Mississippi--which became very popular with people fleeing racism in Mississippi

      --as other blacks soon followed suit, buying area around Tulsa near what became Greenwood; Stradford later built the Stradford Hotel on Greenwood Avenue, where blacks could enjoy the amenities of the downtown hotels who served only whites; was designated only for "colored people" even though black ownership was unheard of

      --when Tulsa became a booming and rather well noted town in the United States, many people considered Tulsa to be two separate cities rather than one city of united communities; white residents of Tulsa referred to the area north of the Frisco railroad tracks as "Little Africa".

      --at it's height, Greenwood was home to about 10,000 black residents

      --one of it's most prominent streets, Detroit Avenue, contained a number of expensive houses belonging to doctors, lawyers, and other business owners. The buildings on Greenwood Avenue housed the offices of almost all of Tulsa's black lawyers, realtors, doctors, heaters, grocery stores, nightclubs, drug stores, churches, funeral homes, restaurants, banks, hotels and and other professionals--along with two airports; there were fifteen well-known black American physicians, one of whom, Dr. A.C. Jackson, was considered the "most able Negro surgeon in America"

      --because blacks were so prosperous in the city, the KKK membership around Tulsa ballooned to 3200 members immediately after WWI, using the belief that blacks were stealing prosperity from whites

      --On May 30th, 1921 Dick Rowland, a 19-year-old shoe shiner took the elevator at nearby building to use the restroom  where 17-year-old Sarah Page accused him of sexual assault----which was later believed to be an excuse and justification for the klan to rile up their white base

      -- although she never pressed charges, the story made the front page of the Tulsa Tribune with the headline “Nab Negro for attacking girl in elevator”, while rumors began circulating that a white lynch mob was searching for Rowland

      --the incident further divided the town with one side believing Rowland raped Page and the other holding on to the belief that he simply tripped as he got onto the elevator and grabbed onto Page’s arm as he tried to catch his balance. Hundreds began to gather outside of the county jail that held Rowland. First, a group of armed whites, followed by a group of armed black men fearful of Rowland’s safety and determined to protect him.

      --what happened next was terrorism: before dawn on June 1, 1921, police assisted white militia and klansmen in shooting black men, women and children indiscriminately, setting fires to homes, businesses and people and calling in the military to drop airplane bombs on the city to curb a "Negro uprising"--arresting 6000 and killing 300+ black people, including famed surgeon A.C. Jackson, who was shot in the back

      --the riot was a means to put "niggers back in their place"

      --until recently, the massacre was omitted from ANY state and local records

      --though the city was rebuilt and flourished several times afterwards, none compared to the heights it had achieved immediately surrounding WWI